Home > Devilish Game (Shadow Guild: The Rebel #4)(6)

Devilish Game (Shadow Guild: The Rebel #4)(6)
Author: Linsey Hall

And yet, I still wanted him. We were more strangers than we’d ever been, but . . .

I still wanted him.

We reached the green door that led to the stairs up to my flat. As I unlocked it, Mac came careening around the nearby corner, her eyes brightening at the sight of us.

“You’re back.” Her short blonde hair was messy from the wind and her run. Her gaze flicked to Grey. “Did it work? Why is he here?”

“Third person, Mac.” I raised my brows.

“Yeah, yeah. Apologies, Devil. But is the bond broken?”

“It is.” His voice was stiff.

Relief flooded her gaze, then it landed on me. She frowned. “You look white as a ghost. What’s wrong?”

“Beth was abducted.” Just saying it made my stomach pitch.

“No.” Mac whitened. “Really? From where?”

I repeated what Mary had told me.

“Shit.” Mac frowned..

“Did you find anything?” I asked.

She shook her head, as though to clear it, then held out a little container of dirt. “Maybe, maybe not. This is a sample of the dirt from where the abduction took place, but I doubt it will tell you anything. I took it just because I felt weird leaving empty-handed.”

I took the little container, knowing right away that it would be useless. Even a visit to the back garden where the girl had been abducted would be pointless—but I’d still probably go. “Thanks, Mac.”

I opened the green door and took the stairs two at a time, Mac and Grey following. The door to my flat was slightly ajar, and I wasn't surprised to see a hint of Cordelia’s tail peeking out of the cupboard where I kept the snacks.

Normally, I’d tell her off. Her diet made me seriously concerned for the state of her arteries, but now wasn’t the time.

I left her to it, hearing her crunch her way through a bag of her favorite pickled onion flavored corn snacks, and turned to Mac and Grey, who had followed me into my place. Quickly, I gave Mac an update about my power and the strange, terrifying voice that had called to me. How it had gone from violence to calm, angry to desperate.

“Whoa,” Mac said. “That’s weird.”

“No kidding.” I didn’t want the attention, so I pointed to Grey. “Grey knows something about the abductions. So spill.”

Mac turned wide eyes on Grey. “You do now, do you?”

“You know better than that, Mac. I’m not involved.”

“Hmm.”

“I’ve never dealt in people.” His voice was hard.

Mac relented, nodding. “Fine, I do know that. You just make me wary because you’re a risk to my friend here. I’m on edge.”

“No longer,” he said. “We’ve broken the bond.”

Her gaze moved between the two of us, brows raised. The relief in her gaze had been replaced with curiosity. “Really?”

“Really.” I nodded.

“Hmm.”

“Quit with the ‘hmms’.” I turned to Grey, vowing to ask Mac more about her knowing noises. “Spill what you know. How do we find the kidnapper? And more importantly, how do we find them.”

“It’s not that easy.” Grey leaned against the door jam and crossed his arms over his powerful chest. “Even if he’s the one responsible, he has such a powerful and expansive underground network that finding the people he’s taken is going to be nearly impossible. Deadly.”

“I’m used to that. I just need a lead. Who is it?”

“Anton the Deceiver. A crime lord out of Monaco.”

My heart thundered. A real lead, with a real location. I could so work with this.

“Yikes.” Mac grimaced. “I’ve heard of him. Bad business, that fellow.”

“Well, I’m going after him.” I met Grey’s eyes again. “Any tips?”

“I’m coming with you,” he said.

“You can’t. You heard what Cyrenthia said. We shouldn’t be around each other. It’s too dangerous.”

“Why?” Mac demanded.

“We can’t . . . fall for each other.” I hesitated, feeling weird saying it in front of her. “Our bond as fated mates is broken, but fate is powerful. It could override the spell if we . . .”

When I trailed off, Grey interrupted, clearly not liking the train of conversation. “You’ll never make into Anton’s place alone. You can’t just break in. And if you did, you’d be dead if you got caught.”

“What do you mean?”

“Anton owns a casino in Monaco, in Monte Carlo. It’s worth millions, and security is rivals that on the Crown Jewels.”

“I could.” I crossed my arms over my chest.

He studied me for a moment, then nodded. “I do believe you could. Perhaps. But once you’re in, you wouldn’t be able to access him. It’d require more luck than exists in all the world, and if they catch you, there’s no trial. There’s no eviction. There’s just execution.”

The chill in his voice made me flinch, and I thought of the mob bosses we’d studied at the police academy. I’d seen what they were capable of, and they were the human ones. What could an evil, magical one do to me?

“I can get you in, and with a bit of luck, we can get an audience with Anton. Then you can ask your questions.”

“But Cyrenthia…”

“I know the risks, Carrow. But the alternative is the lives of those who have been kidnapped. Your life if you get caught trying to break into Anton’s place.”

Shit. He was right.

There was so much at stake. Beth. The young girl. There was no time for me to be waffling about this. I needed his help, and I had the willpower not to fall for him. Especially now that our bond was broken. Half the work was done for me, for fate’s sake.

“Okay, we do it your way,” I said. “What does that entail?”

He thought for a moment, clearly running over the options in his mind. “Anton will be at his casino, though what he’ll be doing is anyone’s guess. He could be playing a game, watching a show, or torturing a minion.”

“Sounds like a delightful guy,” Mac said.

“He’s unrepentantly terrible.” Distaste curled Grey’s lip. “I could set up a meeting, but it’s unwise. It will put him on the alert, and he never wants to give a competitor what they want. If I had something to offer him, it would be different. But I don’t.”

“And we don’t want to give a bastard like that anything,” I said. “Especially not an inkling of what we want. He could hurt the victims if he knows we’re after them.”

“Precisely. So we need to be subtle. You and I will go to his casino as if we’re out for a night on the town. Once there, we figure out what he is doing for the evening and find a way to join him.”

“Then we kidnap him and question him?” I asked.

“Not quite, though it’s an option. I’d like to avoid it due to the fact that he’s bound to have dozens of guards and can lock the place down in a heartbeat. And my mind control powers will be blocked by the casino. The place is imbued with magic that makes him almost impervious.”

I frowned. “How do we get him to talk, then? We can’t bring him in for questioning legally. I’ve got no standing with any police.” There actually were a few police in Guild City, though not as many as there would be out in the real world.

“And police can’t touch him,” Grey said.

“Truth serum, then,” Mac said. “Or something that will make him susceptible to the Devil’s mind control.”

Grey nodded. “That’s what I was thinking. We get close to him and try to dose him. I know a potion that will lower his defenses so that I can question him. The casino’s protections shouldn’t be a match against the combined magic.”

I grimaced, thinking of how hard it would be to snag his drink and empty something into it.

“I can do it,” Mac said.

I turned to her. “What?”

She shrugged. “I’m a bartender. You guys do your plan—get close to him. Get ready to ask your questions. I’ll join the bar staff. It won’t be hard to blend. When it’s time, you signal me, and I bring him a spiked drink.”

Grey gave her a considering look. “He’s likely to have a specific server who deals with his drinks.”

Mac shrugged. “I’ll get clothes from the Fae shop that outfits spies. They’ll definitely have something to help me blend. And for good measure, Eve can give me a potion to make me look like the server that I need to impersonate.”

“That’s possible?” I asked.

“Yes,” Grey said. “Though those potions don’t last long.”

“Good thing I’m quick.” She grinned. “And I know my way around a bar so well that no one will suspect me.”

“It’s too dangerous to break in,” I said.

“I won’t. I’ll go to the server’s entrance dressed as a server. People don’t pay much attention to the staff.”

Grey nodded. “I like this plan.”

I didn’t. It was too dangerous for Mac.

As if she could read my thoughts, she gave me a hard glare. “I’ve got this, Carrow. Beth was taken, remember? Not to mention the other girl. I’m going to help.”

“Fine. Fine.” I raised my hands in a placating gesture. “I know you do.”

She nodded. “Damn right. And worse comes to worse, you carry a serum on you, just in case I need to bail.”

I liked that safety-out. “Okay, it’s a deal.” I looked at Grey. “We can do this tonight?”

He nodded. “You’re going to need clothes like the kind you wore to the speakeasy in Brasov.”

I thought of the amazing magical dress that had made me punch harder and the stilettos that had felt like trainers. “I still have those.”

   
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